Those making and selling home-made cakes and food items to eke out a living during the COVID period should be careful.
Selling such items without a licence or registration will carry a fine of up to Rs 5 lakh and imprisonment for up to six months.
The State Food Safety Department issues the licence for such food units as per the directions of the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI).
The law has been in force since August 5, 2011, but it was not until the COVID crisis that more people have begun to understand it and the consequences of violating it.
In the wake of COVID, those who lost their jobs and those who came from abroad started making cakes and food items at home to earn a livelihood. Since March, there have been 2,300 registrations of such home-based businesses.
However, there are still many units operating without a licence or registration. Many of them are now aware of the law making licence and registration mandatory for such businesses. The question that officers who go to inspect such units are often asked is what is the problem if home-made goods are sold.
A licence is mandatory for units with sales above Rs 12 lakh, while registration is required for those with revenue below this amount.
Registration can be done on the site of the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India through Akshaya Kendras. The procedures are easy. Registration can be completed by uploading photo ID and photo.
The manufacturer is responsible for ensuring the quality of the water and materials used. Licences and registrations will be issued by the district office of the Food Safety Department.
In case of any complaints, food safety officials of the area concerned will carry out an inspection and can levy a fine.
The fine for flouting the norm
A fine of up to Rs 5 lakh and imprisonment for up to six months, depending on the nature of the offence for functioning without a licence or a registration.
Imprisonment and penalty, depending on the nature of the crime, for selling adulterated food.
Rs 3 lakh fine for selling items without label.
5 lakh fine for selling items with substandard quality.